August Chicago festival calendar

Celebrate summer at these Chicago festivals, featuring family-friendly cuisine, tunes and culture
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Photograph: cousindaniel.com Festival-goers congregate in Grant Park at Lollapalooza Music Festival 2013
By Time Out Chicago staff, compiled by Zach Long |
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The arrival of August is a reminder that the summer months are winding down, but Chicago's festival lineup keeps the party rolling. Start the month off with a bang by joining the crowds in Chicago's front yard for a weekend of beats and eats at Lollapalooza. If you have a weakness for elephant ears and carnival rides, you'll want to head to one of several regional fairs. Too many hot dogs and burgers this summer? Expand your palate at Taste of Polonia, Festival Cubano or Albany Park World Fest. Start making plans by looking through our list of the best music, food and art festivals that are happening this month.

Things to do, Festivals

Evanston Lakeshore Arts Festival

More than 125 artists set up shop in Centennial Park to showcase and sell arts and crafts, from jewelry and glass to mixed-media pieces. Attendees can sample food from eight local restaurateurs, listen to some jazz and blues or take the kids to the craft tent for some family fun.

Things to do, Festivals

The World of Faeries Festival

If you forget your wands or wings, you can always grab a new pair at this fantastical annual fest. If you're not into wizards, dragons or unicorns, don't worry—pirates are accepted here, too. Flit around to live acoustic music and check out the fairy-themed art and handcrafts.

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Things to do, Festivals

Ginza Holiday Festival

Throw on a yukata, the summer kimono, at this 59th annual celebration of Japanese culture. Meet and buy crafts from master craftsmen (called Waza). Live martial arts, cultural songs, classical dances and Japanese food give Chicago a taste of Japan. Get to the fest early Saturday before the entrance fee rises to $12 at 7pm for Yoko Noge's Japanesque Band.

Things to do, Festivals

Bud Billiken Parade

The world's largest and oldest African American parade enters its 85th year, celebrating Chicago's youth. The parade's two mile route begins in the Bronzeville neighborhood and continues north on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive, concluding in Washington Park with a picnic that features various vendors and performers.

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Things to do, Festivals

Northalsted Market Days

Northalsted Market Days is the largest two-day street festival in the Midwest and features lots of booze, phallic junk food (think corn dogs and chocolate-dipped bananas), music acts and terrific street fashion.

Things to do, Festivals

Chicago Hot Dog Fest

The Chicago History Museum's celebration of one our city's signature dishes expands to two days in its second year. Multiple hot dog vendors will be slinging sausages while tribute bands such as Kashmir and Don't Speak entertain guests. You can bring your own ketchup, but prepare for some disapproving looks.

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Things to do, Festivals

Chicago Korean Festival

Load up on handcrafted kimchi, listen to K-pop and watch ssireum wrestling at this annual celebration of Korean culture. This year's festival includes a ticketed indoor concert, featuring a performance by 2 Fast 2 Furious star MC Jin.

Things to do, Festivals

Retro on Roscoe

This annual festival invites you to go back in time, with the help of tribute bands and antique cars. Roscoe Village restaurants provide plenty of modern grub while a family area keeps your kids occupied while you reminisce about the good old days.

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Things to do, Festivals

Slow and Low Community Lowrider Festival

Drive a little slower to check out more than 200 lowriders from local car clubs at this 4th annual Pilsen fest. Taste Guatamalen tamales, tacos, baked goods and churros before heading to the awards ceremony where a car will be crowned.

Rockin' Lobster Bash

An expansive roster of Chicago chefs take over the Columbia Yacht Club, dishing out samples of lobster-based dishes to attendees. Guests will be able to sip on drinks while tasting creations from the likes of Rick Bayless, Mindy Segal, David Posey and more.

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